Meditating On It

As I walked home tonightfor the first time in quite some timeI felt lighter.

I didn’t get out of work early, or finish some massive project on my to-do list.

I didn’t have a great run today. (It was a rest day.)

Nothing great happened.

And nothing terrible happened either. (To be honest, nothing terrible has happened lately–it’s just been how I’ve been dealing with things.)

I didn’t take a Xanax today.

Slowly, I think I’m turning things around.

Therapy has been wonderful. The therapist I’m seeing is very used to high-strung New Yorkers who want an action plan, and an action plan she’s given me. One of the things we’re focusing on is meditation objects–choosing objects that hold some sort of positive association for an area in my life I’m happy with and meditating on them in a calm state, and then trying to work myself back into an anxious state and then meditating on them from the anxious state so that when I’m in an actual anxious state, I can channel these same, positive thought.

I also got some great comments from you all about dealing with anxiety. I was curious about anything in my diet that might contribute, or anything I should add. Someone made the suggestion that magnesium helped (and I know it helps with muscle recovery, too), so I’ve added those supplements back in. I’m also limiting caffeine if I wake up feeling panicky at all. I usually don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I’ve felt myself tending to grab sugary snacks out of stress a bit more often than usual lately (mmmm cake pops) and sugar can be linked to anxiety.

A friend recommended Meditation Oasis, and I’ve downloaded a few podcasts from there that I listen to at work. Even if I’m not actually focusing on them and meditating, the calming voices help a lot. I’d love to make it back to yoga sometime soon, too.

Honestly, a few years ago, if someone had suggested meditation for stress relief, I probably would have laughed and thought that stuff was too hippie for me. But trying yoga slowly opened my mind to it, and I now totally embrace it.

candle cafe Meditating On It

I will admit that I’ve been eating more processed food lately than I should–and I know that doesn’t help either–but cooking has just not been in the cards for me lately. I also haven’t been very hungry. I hear anxiety’s an awesome way to not gain marathon weight.

I picked up that meal from Whole Foods last night and actually loved it. I tried Candle 79 last year and really liked it, so was really curious about how their frozen meals would be. This one had a pretty high sodium level (880mg) but I need a little extra sodium when marathon training, so I was okay with that. And it tasted good.

Do you meditate? September is nearly over, but my girl Amanda @ Run to the Finish is doing a September meditation challenge, if you want to participate.

What else do you do in times of high stress to keep calm…and carry on?

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7 comments on “Meditating On It

  1. Niki@justrunninwithit

    I used to have really bad anxiety throughout law school and prepping for the bar exam. It still creeps it’s ugly head out sometimes. I find that cutting the caffeine helps. Also, I try to find pleasure in smaller things– like finding a book to read and catching a new tv series on Netflix. It really helps me to zone out.
    Niki@justrunninwithit recently posted..Thoughts on my training

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  2. Cindy

    Since most of my anxiety is related to social situations, I end up becoming more reclusive, sadly. I get so over anxious over simple things like going to the store or the gym, that some days I just can’t do it. I hate it. I really wish that my GP here would take me more seriously, instead of making me feel bad about needing medication (that doesn’t even work anymore).

    I’m glad you are feeling better. :)
    Cindy recently posted..Massage therapy

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  3. Meghan

    I try to meditate, but I can’t usually stay still. I’m not super religious, but I have a short prayer my mom sent that I repeat in my head as something to focus on and strip away any other thoughts.
    When I have anxiety at home, I often reach for an acupressure mat I received as a sample awhile back. To be honest, it’s made of sharp plastic spikes, so it hurts a little at first. I actually think that distracts me from the anxiety!

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  4. Elizabeth

    I’ve definitely been having one of those really high anxiety weeks too. Ya know the ones where you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread and barely even that/start crying in your thesis advisors office/start crying in the library/start crying in the middle of the street. Yup. All of them. And to be honest, when I have felt that way, the first place I’ve come is your blog because it just makes me feel a little less alone. So thanks. And here’s to not gaining marathon weight :)

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  5. Johanna B

    I’m a long time meditator. I do a few minutes every morning and I find that my day goes better when I take the time to do it. Even just a few minutes makes a difference. So I keep on doing it as many days as I can.

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